Home > Public Domain Data > Two new spatial data resources from US Census Bureau

Two new spatial data resources from US Census Bureau

Two new spatial data resources from US Census Bureau:

1)  New Version of TIGERweb

The U.S. Census Bureau has released a new version of TIGERweb, a Web-based map viewer from the agency’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System (TIGER) database.

TIGERweb allows users to view and query census geographic areas and features such as roads, railroads, rivers, lakes and other larger bodies of water. It currently displays boundaries, names and codes for 2010 Census legal and statistical geographic areas, such as counties, cities, towns and townships, census tracts and urban areas. In addition, TIGERweb contains population and housing unit counts from the 2010 Census for each of the geographic areas.

To access TIGERweb, go to: <http://tigerweb.geo.census.gov>.

In addition to the TIGERweb viewer, the TIGER data also is available as a Web service via the Open Geospatial Consortium Web Map Service standard. Users who have a client that supports the Web Map Service standard may access the TIGERweb service at <http://tigerweb.geo.census.gov/ArcGIS/services/tigerWMS/MapServer/WMSServer>.

Joseph’s reflection:  You can obtain better quick choropleth mapping of census data from ArcGIS Online (www.arcgis.com), because the population and housing data on this site are quite limited.  So why would you use the above?  Sometimes  you need the actual block numbers (i.e. block 101, 102, etc), block group numbers, and census tract numbers, so that you can match the numbers with the tabular data.  In that case, the above service can be quite valuable.

2)  The US Census Bureau has posted 2010 block-level shapefiles by state with population and housing counts via FTP.

These shapefiles were created for a special project so they do not contain all of the attributes of the TIGER/Line Shapefiles but contain the information necessary to identify the census blocks.

An explanation and link to the data (the little tiny ‘ftp’ hyperlink) can be found here:


The link to the data (the tiny ftp hypertext) is here:


Warning from Joseph Kerski:  These are large files!  But they might be useful, because block level data is not easy to obtain.

–Joseph Kerski

Categories: Public Domain Data
  1. Mike Price
    July 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Joseph,

    With all the changes for Census 2010, the block-level PopHU files for each state are the most useful files for real analysis, and yes, they are big. You only need to download each state once, though. For other block-level demographic data, the download and conversion procedures are even tougher.

    So how are things? I’m going to skip the Esri Conference this year. I may go to Alaska instead!


    • josephkerski
      July 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm


      Thanks for your comments.

      It is good to hear from you and I am sorry I will miss you at the UC – we are expecting 800 at the Education User Conference and 15,000 at the User Conference.

      I would really appreciate your candid assessment of the book The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data. You were one of my earliest inspirations in GIS analysis and spatial data and having such high regard for you, your feedback on the book would be immensely appreciated, sir!

      –Joseph Kerski

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